When in Florida, you are almost certain to see an Anhinga at some point. When traveling on Anhinga Trail within the Everglades, your odds get even better. Often you will see Anhinga perched in a bush or tree, or even on something like a light pole, with their black and silvery wings spread out, as if someone had hung them out to dry on an invisible clothesline. Ironically, that is not very far from the truth.
Anhinga do not have waterproofed feathers (unlike ducks). This allows them to swim under water in search for food. But when they do exit the water, they need to dry their feathers to make flying easier (or possible).
Here are a couple of photos of an Anhinga taken from Anhinga Trail. The first shows the typical drying pose. The second is a close-up of the face that highlights the greenish color of the facial skin that males acquire during breeding.
You may notice that these photos are smaller than the photos that have previously appeared in this blog. This is simply a factor of the time required to manage my photos and post entries to this blog. My previous photo hosting choice (Phanfare) automatically gave me pictures that were resized to be 700 pixels on the long side. My new photo hosting choice (Flickr) automatically gives me pictures that are resized to be 500 pixels on the long side. I have been telling myself that I will continue to manually create resized pictures in Flickr that are my usual 700 pixels on the long side, but this appears to be taking more time that I would like, and it has the side-effect of creating clutter within my photo collection at Flickr. So, for now, I will be putting my blogged pictures on a diet, and linking in the 500 pixel version. If you click on a picture, you will be redirected to that photo within my collection at Flickr, where you can see lots of other sizes of the photo (all constructed automatically by Flickr), look at other photos from me, leave comments on specific pictures, and all kinds of other Flickr goodness.